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Sony FE 28-70mm OSS
Full-Frame E-Mount (NEX, A7 etc.)

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

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Sony 28-70mm OSS FE

Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS (Full-frame and crop-sensor coverage, 55mm filters, 10.3 oz./292g, 1.5'/0.45m close focus, about $398). I got mine at Adorama; I'd also get it at Amazon or at B&H.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Sony's boxes are not sealed in any way, so never buy at retail or any source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, store demo, damaged, returned or used product. My approved sources ship from remote automated warehouses where no salespeople or lookie-loos can ever get their greasy fingers on your new lens or drop it before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

September 2015    Sony   Zeiss   Minolta   Nikon   Canon   Fuji   LEICA   All

Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f/4 OSS

 

Sample Images         top

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Palms, 10 September 2015

Palms, 10 September 2015. Sony A7R II, Sony FE 28-70mm OSS at 70mm, f/5.6 at 1/80 at Auto ISO 100. Camera-original © JPG.

 

Palm, 11 September 2015

Palm, 11 September 2015. Sony A7R II, Sony FE 28-70mm OSS at 28mm, f/5 at 1/100 at Auto ISO 100. Camera-original © JPG.

 

Umbrella, 11 September 2015

Lawn Furniture, 11 September 2015. Sony A7R II, Sony FE 28-70mm OSS at 70mm, f/8 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100. Camera-original © JPG.

 

Palm, 11 September 2015

Palm, 11 September 2015. Sony A7R II, Sony FE 28-70mm OSS at 70mm, f/8 at 1/200 at Auto ISO 100. Camera-original © JPG.

 

Introduction         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

This Sony 28-70mm OSS is a compact, lightweight general purpose zoom for Sony's full-frame E-mount cameras, like the A7R II.

Except for the metal mount and glass glass, it's all plastic.

For under $400, it works surprisingly well. If you're an online expert who'd rather spend his time counting pixels than taking pictures, then shut up and go buy the Zeiss lenses for your Sony, but for general use, this plastic lens is easy to buy, easy to carry and easy to shoot. While some might spend time picking apart its inferior optics compared to the Zeiss, I'd rather go out and make great pictures. I'd have no problem making great shots with this lens that I could license to major international clients like McDonald's and Merck Pharmaceuticals (my two most recent sales). Your camera and lens never matter.

So while I'd suggest spending more money on lenses if you've got a top digital camera, I also encourage you to carry as little as possible, and this lens is super lightweight.

It's super-sharp in the center where it actually matters, even at 42 megapixels.

 

Compatibility

This works on all full-frame and crop-sensor Sony E-mount cameras, which are the NEX and A7 series, among others.

It will not work on or mount to any Minolta MAXXUM or Sony A-mount SLRs or DSLRs.

 

Format

This is a full-frame lens and is reviewed as such.

You may make the usual inferences for use with crop-sensor cameras.

 

Good

Inexpensive.

Light weight.

Easy to carry and use.

Fast, silent auto and manual focus.

 

Bad

Made of plastic.

 

Sony 28-70mm OSS FE

Sony FE 28-70mm OSS. enlarge.

 

Specifications         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations   More

 

Name       top

Sony calls this the Sony FE 28–70 mm F3.5–5.6 OSS.

   FE: Full-frame coverage lens for Sony E mount.

   OSS: Sony's trademark for its Image Stabilization: Optical Steady Shot.

 

Optics       top

Sony 28-70mm OSS internal construction

Sony 28-70mm OSS internal construction. Aspherical and ED.

9 elements in 8 groups.

3 aspherical elements.

Silent internal focus; nothing moves externally as focussed.

 

Diaphragm       top

Sony 28-70mm OSS FE

Sony FE 28-70mm OSS.

7 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22~36.

 

Close Focus       top

1.5 feet (0.45 m).

As close as 1' (0.3m) at the 28mm setting.

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio       top

1:5.3 (0.19x), rated.

 

Focal Length       top

28-70mm.

On APS-C (aka DX or 1.5x or crop-frame) cameras, it gives angles of view similar to what an 45-105mm lens would give on a 35mm or full-frame camera. See also Crop Factor.

 

Angles of View        top

34º ~ 75º diagonal on full frame.

23º ~ 54º diagonal on APS-C.

 

Hood       top

ALC-SH132 plastic bayonet petal hood included.

 

Case        top

None included.

Honestly, the bubble wrapper that is included is actually a much better case than the vinyl sacks that come with the more expensive Sony lenses.

The included bubble-wrap envelope both protects the lens, and lets you see what's inside.

 

Size       top

2.85" (72.5 mm) diameter x 3.27" (83 mm) long.

 

Weight       top

10.285 oz. (291.6 g) actual measured weight.

Sony specifies 10.5 oz. (295g).

 

Sony Part Numbers        top

SEL2870 (complete lens kit).

ALC-SH132 (replacement hood).

 

Includes       top

Lens.

Caps.

ALC-SH132 plastic bayonet hood.

 

Price, USA        top

$398, September 2015. (47,429 yen in Japan).

 

Sony 28-70mm OSS FE

Box, Sony FE 28-70mm OSS.

 

Performance         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations   More

Overall    Autofocus    Bokeh   Distortion

Ergonomics   Falloff    Filters   Focus Breathing

Ghosts   Lateral Color Fringes   Macro   Mechanics

Sharpness   Spherochromatism   Sunstars

 

Overall     performance      top

The Sony FE 28-70mm OSS is a great handling, light weight and inexpensive lens. No, it isn't as sharp as ZEISS in the corners at crazy settings no one uses, but so what: lab technicians neither buy nor create great photos. Photographers do.

It is super-sharp in the center where it actually matters, even at 42 megapixels.

 

Focus     performance      top

Focus is fast, silent and accurate.

 

AF Speed

Autofocus is very fast on an A7R II.

 

Auto/Manual Switching

Just grab the focus ring anytime for instant manual-focus override — but only if you've set your camera to DMF focus mode.

 

Bokeh     performance      top

Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to the degree of defocus, is good.

You won't often see anything out of focus unless you're close and shooting at 70mm at f/5.6, but if you do have things out of focus, they aren't distracting.

Here are full-frame sample shots wide open from headshot distance. Click for the original © files:

Sony 28-70mm OSS FE bokeh

Shot at 28mm at f/5 on full-frame on an A7R II. Camera-original © file.

 

Sony 28-70mm OSS FE bokeh

Shot at 70mm at f/5.6 on full-frame on an A7R II. Camera-original © file.

If you're on a desktop computer and look at the original files, notice how sharp they are in the center, which is the only part of the each photo actually in focus.

 

Distortion     performance      top

The Sony 28-70 OSS has no visible distortion most of the time as shot on the Sony A7R II, which is probably correcting it.

Oddly, while most zooms have barrel distortion at the shorter end and pincushion at the longer end and no distortion in the middle, this Sony is the opposite. This lens has no visible distortion at the ends of its zoom range and some pincushion in the middle. This is as shot on an A7R II, which is probably correcting it.

For more critical use, use these values in Photoshop's Lens Distortion tool to correct them. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

On full-frame at 10' (3m)

Visible Effects

28mm
invisible
±0.00
35mm
slight to moderate pincushion
-1.50
50mm
invisible
-0.60
70mm
invisible
-0.50

© 2015 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Ergonomics     performance      top

Sony 28-70mm OSS FE

Sony FE 28-70mm OSS.

Ergonomics are swell. Especially nice is the zooming, which is very slow and therefore easy to set precise cropping.

The focus ring isn't connected to anything; it's just an encoder which hopefully will be interpreted properly by your camera to drive the electronic focus motors.

On my A7R II manual-focus is mediocre. It works, but it feels disconnected because it is.

This is a nice to-the-point zoom. It's lightweight and handles well. It's a joy to carry and use.

 

Falloff (darkened corners)     performance      top

Falloff is completely invisible as shot on the A7R II, which I presume is correcting much of it.

I've greatly exaggerated the falloff by shooting a flat gray target and presenting it against a gray background:

 

Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff on A7R II

Maximum Aperture
f/5.6
f/8
28mm
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
35mm
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
50mm
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
70mm
Max is f/5.6 -->
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff
Sony 28-70mm OSS falloff

© 2015 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

Filters, Use with     performance      top

There's no problem with vignetting even with thick filters, even on full-frame.

There's no need for thin filters; any regular thick or rotating filters work great.

 

Focus Breathing     performance      top

Focus breathing (the image changing size as focused) is mostly of interest to cinematographers who don't want the image changing size ("breathing") as the lens is focused among different subjects.

I can't see any focus breathing; the image stays the same size as focussed in and out.

This is ideal for drama cinematography.

 

Flare & Ghosts       performance     top

Flare resistance is excellent. I see no ghosts unless I really, really push it:

Sony 28-70mm OSS ghosts

Solar disc in image on right, 38mm at f/7.1.

You'd go blind looking into the sun and exposing for the shadows as I did here, and even if you do, the worst I can get is a couple of green circles.

Bravo! This is a benefit of the simple optical construction of this zoom.

 

Lateral Color Fringes     performance      top

There are almost no lateral color fringes, at least as shot on the A7R II.

There may be a bit blue-red at 28mm, but it's gone at longer focal lengths.

 

Macro     performance      top

Macro gets reasobaly close. Here's what you get on full frame:

Sony 28-70mm OSS  macro performance

Genuine Rolex Submariner at close-focus distance at 70mm at f/8 on full frame.

 

Sony 28-70mm OSS  macro performance

Crop from above at 100%. If this is about 6" (15cm) on your screen, printing the complete image at this same high magnification would result in a 80 x 55" (6.5 x 4.5 feet or 2.1 x 1.4 meter) print!

 

Mechanics     performance      top

Sony 28-70mm OSS FE

Sony FE 28-70mm OSS. enlarge.

The mount really is slightly pink.

The Sony 28-70 OSS is mostly plastic, except for the glass and the metal mount. It looks and feels like plastic, which it is.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Identity Ring

Plastic.

 

Hood Mount

Plastic.

 

Front Barrel

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Rubber covered plastic.

 

Internals

Plastic.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Moisture seal at mount

No.

 

Markings

Painted.

 

Serial Number

Printed on sticker on bottom of barrel.

 

Mount

Pink metal.

 

Noises When Shaken

Light clicking.

 

Rear Light Baffle

Plastic.

 

Made in

Thailand, just like the ZEISS T* 1,8/55mm FE.

Made in Thailand

Made in Thailand.

 

Sharpness     performance      top

Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens, and lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers. It's the least skilled hobbyists who waste the most time blaming fuzzy pictures on their lenses, while real shooters know that few photos ever use all the sharpness of which their lenses are capable due to subject motion and the fact that real subjects are rarely perfectly flat.

This Sony 28-70mm is extremely sharp in the center where it matters, but field curvature makes it less sharp in the sides and corners if you're shooting test charts and counting pixels. See the original samples at bokeh if you'd like to see how sharp it is.

It's super-sharp wide open in the center, and gets softer at the sides, especially wide-open.

 

Sony's Sony MTF curves:

Sony FE 28-70mm MTF

f/3.5 and f/8, 10 cyc. and 30 cyc/mm.

MTF at 28mm

Sony FE 28-70mm MTF

f/5.6 and f/8, 10 cyc. and 30 cyc/mm.

MTF at 70mm

 

Spherochromatism     performance      top

Spherochromatism, erroneously called color bokeh by laymen, isn't usually seen in slow and wide-angle lenses

I can't see any in this lens.

Out-of-focus highlights should stay neutral.

 

Sunstars     performance      top

Sony 28-70 OSS sunstars

Sunstar, f/16. bigger.

With its 7-blade rounded diaphragm, this Sony 28-70mm OSS makes crummy sunstars, if any at all. Good luck; this is the best I could do.

 

Compared         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations   More

This is an inexpensive plastic lens which works very well considering its price.

Yes, the Zeiss lenses are sharper if you spend your life indoors looking at the corners of zoomed-in images on computer screens, but for people who actually get out, shoot and hang one-man shows in galleries, this lens is more than sharp enough. It's very sharp in the center where it matters.

What really matters is if spending $1,000 less to get this lens lets you make a trip someplace awesome, and lets you bring back fantastic shots you wouldn't if you were wasting your time saving for a more expensive lens that will still take the same pictures.

But wait: more expensive zooms are heavier, and the more you have to carry, the less refreshed and relaxed you'll be. I make my best photos when I'm relaxed and in a good mood, not when I'm weighted down with too much gear.

This lens' light weight and low price just might help you make better pictures than you would with a more expensive lens!

See also Is It Worth It?

 

Recommendations         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

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This 28-70 OSS is small, light, inexpensive and handles well.

It will take splendid photos.

Personally I'd get better lenses if they are for an expensive full-frame camera, but if you're considering this, yes, it takes swell photos and it's fun and easy to carry and use.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you get yours via these links to it at Adorama; I'd also get it at Amazon or at B&H. When you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live, it helps me keep adding to this free website — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Unlike a bottle of milk or a CD, Sony doesn't seal its boxes at all, so you have no idea if you're getting a used, returned, incomplete or damaged product if you risk buying at retail. Never buy at retail. I use the sources I do because they have the best prices, service, return policies and selection— and they ship from secure remote warehouses where no customers or salesmen can get their sticky hands on your new camera before you do.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken.

 

More Information         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations   More

Sony's 28-70 OSS page.

Another Sony 28-70 OSS page.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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Thanks for reading!

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

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September 2015